Getting Senior Guys to Give Up the Smiles
How do I know when a photo shoot is successful? When nerves turn to smiles…and even (gasp!) laughter!
You might be surprised to read this, but sometimes it’s difficult to get senior guys to relax and fall in love with the idea of a photo shoot. In fact, the idea of senior pictures often starts with Mom or Dad, and the young men go along to keep them happy.
But once everyone has decided senior pictures are a FANTASTIC idea, it’s my job to make sure that, by the end of a photo shoot, everyone is happy. (Don’t be surprised if you get a goofy mom joke thrown at you. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all.)
Joy for the Future
I love working with graduating seniors for lots of reasons, and Cole epitomizes every one of them. He warmed up quickly to the camera, and it was amazing to see the excitement he has for the journey he is about to embark on. One of my very favorite things about my job is sharing just a little bit of that excitement and joy—and being able to capture those moments so they can share them with loved ones.
Finding the Magic
My goal is to set clients at ease, get them talking, and maybe even get a few laughs—because that’s when the real magic happens. When the nerves fall away, that’s when true personality makes its appearance, and that’s when I can capture photographs of the young adult everyone knows and loves. THOSE are the senior pictures that Mom, Dad, and the entire family are looking forward to!
The Zoolander Fear
We quickly zeroed in on Cole’s hobbies and interests, and he warmed up to the idea of a photo shoot that involved all the things he’s loved throughout his school years. He was also a fan of a photo shoot that would NOT involve people saying things like, “Work it.” or “Turn, turn, spin, snap!”
For many clients, the fiasco of a Zoolander fashion show may be the closest they can imagine to a photo shoot—and that is terrifying! I always reassure them that their photo shoot will be ALL ABOUT THEM and the things they love. A little bit of information and preplanning go a long way toward making grads feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Taking Basketball to the Streets
After learning one of Cole’s favorite pastimes is basketball, we didn’t waste any time finding a way to work his love of the sport in with his affinity for the downtown urban vibe he’d previously mentioned to me in our client meeting. The great thing about finding an awesome location is that you can usually get several shots there. Amazingly enough, every one of Cole’s basketball photos was taken between some generic downtown Chandler buildings, so we didn’t have to travel far to get them!
These are some of my favorites, too.
As we were headed to our next location, I caught this great image of Cole and his brother Wyatt together…in a parking lot!
On the Way to Success
Cole has big plans for his future. A 2021 graduate of Gilbert Classical Academy, he has his sights set on a career in the medical field and hopes to get into nursing school as he continues his studies. He’ll be attending Arizona State University, and I’m sure he’ll do everything he has planned and MORE! He is such a smart young man with so much support behind him that I know he’ll go far.
An adventurous spirit, he plans on going to Europe one day, and he’d love to have a nice car, too. Cole is such a diligent and hard worker, I’m sure he’ll reach all the goals he sets for himself!
If Cole could give a piece of advice to incoming freshmen, he said it would be to just take things one day at a time. With hard work and perseverance, they’ll get to the finish line.
Things are heating up here in Arizona, and now that graduation is over, you might find Cole chilling out and playing video games until it’s time to get geared up for college. He also enjoys swimming, which just might win out over basketball—at least until we get temps that are under 110 out here in the desert! He says his friends describe him as a relaxed and laid-back guy, and after working with him through the planning, photo shoot, and image selection process, I can say they’re definitely right.
One of my favorite fun-loving and easygoing clients, Cole was willing to try different poses and locations, and he ended up with a huge variety of images that his parents loved.
Bonus fact: He’s a triplet! And he was flexible enough to combine his photo preferences with those of his siblings to end up with a mega selection of photograph keepsakes their parents can enjoy forever. See the entire triplet photo shoot here!